Category Archives: exercise

Insanity Relapse

I have mentioned a zillion times how I have just not gotten my groove back since moving.  Part of it I know is that with this being a smaller place I don’t have my little Kim-den to go workout (re: by myself without an audience) in when we both are home.  I have had to really tell myself that I just have to get over it and sometimes I’ll be working out in the living room and he will be at the computer and oh well.  That has helped me with consistency these last few days.  I also have started mixing it up on days I have no desire to do anything.  The last 2 days I went back to old faithful – INSANITY.  I am so glad I did, I feel more invigorated and ready to go than I have in weeks.  I love TurboFire and I think Les Mills Pump is growing on me.  But neither of those bring the pain like INSANITY does and I’m realizing that is what I need to jump me into a routine again.  I haven’t been this sore in a while and I missed that feeling.  Now that I have it I am so ready to get back into a routine again.  A big part of this journey is about learning how you operate.  How you tick and what gets you moving…then using that information to help you along the way.

I will share the two workouts I did – they were the two INSANITY workout that I didn’t do before, the deluxe package ones.

First up was Max Interval Sports Training which is 55 minutes long.  First I will say that there really aren’t any intervals.  This workout really reminds me of Core Cardio and Balance (CCB)  in it’s format.  Not the usual interval warmup, but it again mimics CCB with a slow warmup.  I really like this warmup because it actually helps me go from cold to warm without being out of breath immediately.  Next you go through drills from 4 sports – football, basketball, gymnastics, and track and field.  I’m pretty sure Shaun T meant to save the “this ish is bananas” for this workout.  I was sweating buckets by the end of the football drill section.  Each section is on it’s own a pretty good workout so adding them together is mega intense.  Expect abs, cardio, and strength as you move through this one.  I really liked it and definitely would do this again.

Next I did the Upper Body Weight Training workout.  This one is basically all weight training with a little bit of cardio in each section to boost your heart rate up.  This workout is full of very basic exercises that every person can do regardless of fitness level.  Shaun T doesn’t show any modifications as usual, but you can make some up if you need them.  There are some lower body and abs included, but it is pretty much all upper body focus.  The only thing I will say to you is that you need to lift heavy here.  Not light.  The ladders go down, so if you go too light you will not get the benefit of the workout.  Go heavy and if you can and your equipment allows go heavier on the last set.  You can pair this with either Fast and Furious or a Turbo Fire HIIT workout and get a solid hour or so of weights plus cardio.

At this point, the only INSANITY workout I haven’t done is Insane Abs.  Considering I can barely get through Cardio Abs, I probably won’t do Insane Abs for a while.  I’m seriously considering doing another round of INSANITY this summer after I finish the Ultimate Reset 🙂  I’m back in the Insane Ward I guess, lol!  I think I am at a fitness level that maybe another round of INSANITY I might be able to try Asylum…who knows.

Starting Over vs. Starting Back Up

Scenario:  Happily going through your workout routine.  Loving every minute of it without a care in the world.  Then BLAM – curveball from life and now you haven’t worked out in too long and can’t figure out what to do next.

Have you been there?  I certainly  have and I’m there again right now.  My move is way more of a disruption then I predicted it would be, ugh.  I have been busy until late in the evening every day, which means I’m not getting up early to workout.  I am trying to bust my butt to get the new place unpacked so this week is the last week of this mess.  I have mentioned this before – I don’t do well in life when I’m not exercising.  It makes eating right a MUCH bigger struggle then it normally is for me.  I am doing a lot of moving – cleaning, moving boxes, lifting things, unpacking, ect.  I haven’t sat down much at all.  But that kind of movement is different than an hour of Combat, know what I’m saying?  Long story short – I’m at the point where it’s been a week since my last workout because I have only taken one day off work this whole time, so it’s been late hours packing and unpacking and moving.

Here is a handy checklist I have created for anyone else who is wondering when it is worth it to start a program over versus just picking up where you left off:

1. Has it been more than two weeks since your last official workout?
2. Was your break due to injury?
3. Have you been inactive during the break (meaning little to no physical activity outside of normal everyday tasks)?
4. Are you in month 1 of your program?
5. Do you feel that your fitness has decreased at all?

If you answered more yeses then nos….you have two options – start over (which if you are in the first few weeks of a program is easy to do without losing much) or repeat a lower intensity week (go back to month one, weeks 1 or 2 and repeat that.  see how you feel and go forward from there).  And if you answered yes to question 2, you should automatically start over.  Why?  Because you start to lose fitness within one to two weeks of stopping exercise. Yes, 7 days off of exercise will literally set you back in physical ability.  So this means that if you have been inactive or doing mostly nothing you are actually getting a little weaker/slower then you were before.  With the 60-90 day programs (all of them..not just Beachbody), the intensity tends to build gradually over the weeks.  When you take time off and lose fitness, your body recognizes that change, but your brain doesn’t.  Your brain is going to want to go balls to the wall and kick butt…but your body is not ready for that like it would have been with no break.  So you may end up injuring yourself, which does no good to anybody.

Obviously this checklist is short and there are other things that come into play – your beginning fitness being the main one.  If you are already someone who has lost a ton of weight and are in great shape – you may just need the one drop back week to get back into the swing of things before going back into the program.  If your program is Combat or TurboFire or P90x, you can probably get away with just a few shorter workouts, because the intensity of the workouts is very similar. Something like INSANITY – I would start that month over at a minimum.  If you are injury prone, definitely be careful.  I have horrific knees, so if I were doing INSANITY right now, I would most likely start over so I can build up again.  Combat I’m less concerned because the program is inherently low impact.

So what am I going to do?  I am going to start over with Combat.  By the time I get to a point where my living room is free and clear (and so it’s clear – I’m going from a whole basement to workout in to a living room of a 1 bedroom apartment…so that’s why it’s taking so long) it will most likely be this weekend – almost 2 weeks of not doing a workout.  I am going to try to get to the apartment gym…but with work and moving stuff left…it’s unlikely.  So I would like to do at least the first week of Combat over with the shorter workouts.  Well I was only finishing up week 2 anyway…so if I’m going to do week 1 over, I might as well just do the whole thing.  And I’m totally good with that.  I like the fresh start idea a lot, it’s something that I thrive on.

Links and Moving Update

Hey ya’ll!

Finally through the packing and into the unpacking phase of moving.  How we got so much stuff….I can’t figure out.  I have been throwing a lot of stuff away though….new start clean start kind of thing.  That’s why posting is a little slow lately…I just haven’t been really doing much except trying to stay on track, exercise when I can (and where…box jumping is today’s activity, lol), and trying to get this new apartment livable.

So today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite fitness/health links.  Please share some of your favorites in the comments too, I’m always looking for more good resources.

Michi’s Ladder – very good resource if you are trying to start eating clean.  It works pretty easy.  Figure out what tier your foods are in and try to swap out a tier 1 or 2 item for your tier 3-5 items.  It’s not a diet – it is a clean up your eating plan.

Daily Hiit – used to be BodyRock.  I started with this and UFC Trainer on XBOX in January 2011 at 300 lbs.  No, I couldn’t do everything and yes, there are probably better workouts to start off with that would have given me faster results because I was so big and out of shape there was so much I couldn’t do.  But I was SO pumped up and motivated after finding out about BodyRock and so wanting to start that I just jumped in and did what I could do.  This is what happens when you just wake up and decide to go forth and do something on a whim.  Anyway, long story short – I owe a lot to this program because it got me moving and starting the weight loss process.  A lot of the early posts on this blog are breakouts of my BodyRock workouts.

Fleur Meets Fitness – This blog has served as many a motivating moment for me.  Fleur is a Australian girl who lost a ton of weight in a very short amount of time.  It’s motivating for me because it’s a story of what you can do if you really put your money where your mouth is.  You can do pretty much whatever you want to do if you decide it’s your #1 priority.

Truly.Into.Fitness – I just like reading about the lives of people that change their weight.  And apparently aren’t from the US, lol!  Jess is French Canadian and is living the dream – lost the weight and became a personal trainer.  Motivation in leaps and bounds.

Team Beachbody – Great resource if you are doing a Beachbody program for sure.  Also if you just want recipes and a fitness community.  I use the message boards a lot, especially to research a program.  I spent a TON of time on the message board before deciding finally to take the Ultimate Reset and I still check the forum a lot.
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Don’t forget this month’s deals:

1. P90x and Ultimate Reset deals end on March 31st.  Don’t miss these awesome deals if you want these programs!
2. Shakeology greenberry and chocolate (non-vegan version) go up in price by $10 a month as of April 1st. Order on HD this month to lock in the price for life.
3. Challenge pack or Shakeology HD orders this month get a free Shakeology shaker cup!  🙂

INSANITY Finishing T-Shirt

I have posted a few pictures on Instagram (@healthyengineer) of myself in my INSANITY “I Earned It” shirt.  From the comments I’ve gotten, I’ve realized that a lot of people don’t know how to actually get their shirt when they finish.  I wanted to share how to get your shirt because if you are like me, you are so ready to sport that bad boy when you finish.

  1. Look at the INSANITY t-shirt form and figure out what your proof of purchase will be.  They aren’t hard, but you do need to think about it just so you can take the picture or remember to keep the email.  And you have to have a proof of purchase of some form to qualify for the free shirt, so don’t forget this!!
  2. Before you start, take your before stats.  First up are the pictures.  Take the ones in the form and make sure you wear something that shows your shape.  You don’t have to wear a sports bra and shorts, I certainly didn’t.  But don’t go for the baggy, because then you can’t see anything.  Take your measurements and starting weight.
  3. Do the program – all 63 days.  Curse Shaun T out daily during this endeavor while praising him when you realize you are actually shrinking.  Neither the cursing or the praise will stop for 63 days, don’t worry.
  4. Repeat step 1 with your new after body.
  5. Fill out the INSANITY t-shirt form and email it to Beachbody (email address is on the form) with your pictures and your proof of purchase.
  6. Wait for your new favorite t-shirt to arrive.  While you are waiting, submit your results to the Beachbody Challenge.  Why?  Because for just filling out the info, you can win anywhere from $500 to $25,000.  For something you already did.  Seems like a no-brainer to me.
Easy enough right? Hopefully this helps someone who doesn’t know how to get their t-shirt 🙂

One Week of Les Mills Combat

So as I’ve been mentioning – I tried out Combat when I got home from Michigan because I needed a boost. Since then, I’ve been following the ultimate warrior calendar.  It’s a 6 day a week schedule with 30-60 minutes a day.  I wanted to discuss some of the workouts and how I liked them.

Combat 30:  This is a 30 minute workout that focuses on kicks and punches.  I felt super sore in my core and across my upper back/shoulders after this one for sure.  I liked how intense it was for a short workout – it ramped up rather quickly so it got to the point.  The immediate thing I noticed about this program from the first workout is that the low impact option actually is a good one.  Some workouts (INSANITY) don’t really have a low impact option and others (TurboFire) have them, but sometimes it’s too low.  This one was pretty good.  I use the low impact sometimes when my knees are bothering me, but aim for high impact whenever I can.

HIIT: Power: This workout is stupid hard.  Lots and lots of burpees.  Lots of them.  And squats.  As much as Combat 30 is focused on the upper body, HIIT: Power is a butt workout.  The weird thing about this one is that weights are used.  Not for the whole DVD, but in parts of it.  It is short, another 30 minute workout, but also intense.

HIIT: Plyo: Burpees, burpees, burpees.  Which I’m ok with – I mean they work.  I think at one point you do like 40 in one set, that kind of erases your mind.  It’s a 30 minute workout.  This one was weird to me because it seemed not really a HIIT or a plyo workout.  It wasn’t bad, just not what I expected.

Combat 45: Very similar to Combat 30, just a little longer.

Lower Body: So I thought this would be a strength workout…it’s not really.  It’s a cardio workout with more kicks then punches.  Oh and burpees.  I guess martial artists love burpees.  Okay, it sunk in by day 6 of week 1.  This was a hard workout and I did feel the burn.  I am not sure I would really consider this a lower body workout…more of cardio workout with a bit more of a lower body focus.  I do think it’s a good workout, just not what I thought I was getting by reading the name of it.

Combat 60: See Combat 30 description.  I will say that this was closer to the full class that I’m used to from way back in the day when I took combat at a gym.  I liked the DVD and it’s pretty hard.  There is a section at the end, the last track before the abs/pushup track, that kicked my butt that I loved – probably my favorite track of the program to date.  Lots of punches and cross jacks.  The kick tracks on this one are some of my favorite as well.

So right now I am on the 2nd week (did day 1, week 2 this morning).  I’m really enjoying it and now that I’m finally healthy and over this cold (I’m claiming it…even if it’s not 100% true yet) I want to try to add some activity in the evenings like I talked about a few days ago.  I am so ready to really boost it this month.  I took some photos this morning and I’m not really happy about it.  Yes it’s a little remaining bloat from that time of the month, but it’s also from the fact my eating has been meh ever since going home for my Grandma’s memorial.  I am really now back in the buckle down mode.  Beast mode if you will.  Let’s go.

March Madness

Oh yes, it is ON for March peeps.  My birthday is in April.  I already am the smallest I’ve been since I was 17.  I’m ready to hit my birthday looking as smoking hot as I can and as healthy as I can.  So it’s going to be an aggressive month with diet and exercise.

Eating
Clean clean CLEAN is the plan.  Better meal planning because the last few weeks have been meh with all the ongoings.  More vegetables, more fruit, more nuts, more seeds.  Less dairy, less miscellaneous snacks, less dirty junk.  Essentially, I’m going to go back to those favorite Ultimate Reset recipes and those other favorites.  I need more veggies in my life and in March I’m going to find them ALL.  Shakeology every morning for breakfast because I will need the help cutting cravings and that seems to be the only thing that does it for me lately.

Exercise
Les Mills Combat in the mornings – sticking 100% to the schedule.  I shouldn’t have tried it in the middle of this hybrid because I like it WAY too much to go back to the hybrid.  New stuff wins.  Always lol.  Adding in some of these short Fit Girl Army workouts as a warm up or post workout before the cool down burst.  In the evenings I will start taking at least 30 minutes to do something 4 or so days a week.  My new place I’m moving to in March has a gym there, so I may just go there and walk while watching tv (because we don’t have cable and the gym does, ha!).  Or add some heavy lifting in sometimes. I just need to get out of this habit of sitting on my butt for hours every night.  Especially since we are moving to a smaller place – I think this will be my way of giving the hubby some space since we won’t have our separate little domains anymore.

Life
Sleep baby.  I’m going to be in bed by 10pm every night, end of discussion.  Bed by 10 and up at 5:30.  One reason I’m deciding to do Combat in the mornings is that it’s a shorter workout for the most part.  I like that because it means I can sleep in a little longer 🙂  I also am going to really push to get the hubby to participate in my evening workouts a little so it’s time we can spend together along with time we can get fitter together.  I’m going to try to slow down a little bit on the weekends and take some extra time (like today – I’m taking a half day at work) to rest and rejuvenate.  I’ve been a busy madwoman lately and it’s starting to catch up to me.  I don’t need to do that.

Are you in for a hardcore March?  I’m on a mission this month – not just to improve my health and fitness – but to help at LEAST 5 people do the same.  If you are ready to be one of those 5 people who is taking on a similar challenge and would like me to coach you please send me an email healthyengineer@gmail.com.  There are some fantastic challenge pack deals to help you get started PLUS this is the last month for the chocolate and greenberry Shakeology at the current price.  If you don’t lock in Home Direct now, the price is going up $10/month starting in April.  You can cancel whenever you want if you don’t like Shakeology, and there is a 30 day empty bag refund policy, but if you have been thinking of getting started with it, I would highly suggest you think about doing that now to save yourself $10/month on the product + on HD there is no shipping, so you save another $12/month for a $22 total savings.  More if you decide to sign up for the coach discount.  Check it out on my Shakeology page or watch Tony Horton’s silly little video on it and shoot me an email if you have any questions about it or want more info on the coach discount.

Size 16 Mission and More

Today is the 3rd day of my new hybrid program. So far – I’m in love with it AND I’m already feeling awesome from it. I am glad I found it and took the steps to see if something else would work better for me. I have done 2 days of Chalean Extreme and I am sorry I thought it wouldn’t be that great before. I bought it at least 4 years ago after falling in love with Turbo Jam. Then I got it and didn’t have the weights and just never got into it. I’ve had it forever and just never picked it up again. If not for one of my fellow Beachbody coaches posting amazing progress on instagram I may have never actually picked it up. Anyway, what I am learning to appreciate about the program are the compound movements. The weight exercises are very different from P90x and the sessions are full body instead of very focused on a certain area. So it’s just totally different. I didn’t really appreciate that before trying them out. I’m thinking that this is better for me while losing just based on a few sessions and the way I feel afterwards. I think P90x is going to be amazing for me once I am closer to the end of this weight loss journey.

It was also fun to do INSANITY again!  I did plyo intervals yesterday and it’s JUST as hard as it used to be, which is the nice thing about INSANITY – it can’t get easier, ever.  I was able to do so much more than I could when I was in month 1 in November.  It’s kind of amazing how much more to me, because I felt like I was rocking it before, ha.  I didn’t really realize how much room I had to grow.  I want to do the fit test again one of these days to see how I do on that.

Now I’m heading off to the city to meet my friend for lunch.  We are going to a vegan restaurant so I’m excited about that!  But before I go, this week’s pictures from my size 16 mission.

This is week 1 to this week, so quite the difference.  I started doing more cardio and I can tell.  All the cardio programs I do are very ab focused, so I think that is why my stomach is shrinking so much.  I took these on Wednesday, and I’m pretty pumped for next week’s picture.  I can already see a difference in my stomach from the last few days, so I am really excited to see if I can pull this off in the next few weeks!

Time for a Change

Okay, so if you read my blog regularly or follow me on instagram (@healthyengineer) you know that I haven’t really been all that excited about my P90x journey so far.  I LOVE the workouts…but I am not getting the results I should be getting 30 days in.  Maybe I’m not lifting heavy enough.  I don’t honestly know.  I have really no clue since I have seen people shrink with this program. The only thing I do know is that me +P90x right now aren’t working out so fantastically.  

For a while I was determined to push through it.  I thought that since I made this commitment that I would be a failure if I quit the program.  I thought that I wouldn’t be giving it the good old college try and it would be unfair to not give it the full 90 days.  But then I started realizing that honestly – who gives a damn.  Really.  My goal here isn’t to best any program but to get in the best shape and health I can get in.  And if a program isn’t giving me what I need, then I need to stop and re-assess.  
I realized that it was this thinking – that I’m quitting or I’m failing – that has been something I have struggled with for YEARS with weight loss.  I have the wrong mentality.  It’s not quitting, it’s fixing or re-adjusting, or just doing something new because I want to do something new.  This isn’t a 90 day mission to lose weight, it’s a rest of my life mission to be better for myself.  So that means that if it’s broke I need to fix it.  Because if I don’t fix it, this P90x feeling, then will I be able to give my all for the next 60 days?  Did I miss an opportunity?  Exactly.  
So with all that said – it’s time for a change.  I scoured the internet and found a basis for a new program – a INSANITY ChaLEAN Extreme TurboFire hybrid.  What?  Yes.  I have owned ChaLEAN Extreme for years and never actually done the program because I never had the weights for it.  Then once I did I was just kind meh on the program.  Recently I’ve seen some amazing results from my teammates that have been awesome and have me re-thinking it.  What I didn’t realize was that those workouts are shorter – most under 45 minutes, which is also a plus because I would get to sleep in just a little more than I do now.  I already adore INSANITY and TurboFire as you know, so I feel like this is an opportunity to add in the weights but still get the cardio I think I need right now.  I never thought of combining these programs like this at all.  
So the plan is to take this schedule and stick it on the wall and start this tomorrow.  I’m going to do this like P90x – give it 30 days and see.  I believe that I will know relatively quickly – I did with every program so far – if it’s going to be right for me or not.  I’m excited for this but a little nervous since it’s got some hard hard cardio days.  I will keep a log here of course and let you guys know how I like it!!

Life Happens

Doesn’t it?  The first 5 days of February have been pretty annoying, not going to lie.  I have that feeling that everything I do is wrong, have you had that?  It probably is a combination of hormones and work and life.  I am feeling very stuck lately and while I can give myself a challenge in weight loss to get moving, I’m not sure I know what to do for other things to jump start them.

Part of this is the fact that it’s that special time of the month (sorry boys) and I have massive cravings.  I am trying to get through it.  I made healthy nachos for the super bowl and that was a good substitute for junk.  Just took a layer of real fresh tortilla chips and pilled on refried beans, ranchero beans (some random organic can I found at whole foods, lol), fiesta cheese, and a TON of onions and red/yellow/green peppers.  A ton.  Popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes and then put salsa on top. Boom.  Done.  But I still want to eat EVERYTHING. I hate my new prescription…this didn’t happen on the old one.  Alas it is what it is and I’m trying to work through it.  I did have chocolate yesterday…and I really didn’t feel better.  I still felt cravings and I felt bad for eating when I KNEW it was just the hormones, not an actual want.  I am doing better today and continually reminding myself throughout the day that yesterday was yesterday and it won’t ruin me.  I am a firm believer in the fact that ONE day won’t kill you…it’s just one day.  But it’s what happens after that one day that determines your success.  So I’m focusing on the fact that I know in my heart that one chocolate bar, no matter how large it is, won’t make me a size 26 again.  I also missed my workout yesterday after sleeping in after the Super Bowl and I know that really mentally messed with me.  I don’t miss workouts often…literally 2x in the last 6 months.  And the reason I don’t is because I feel so restless.  I don’t even like rest days…I just have gotten into a move it all the time mode lol.  Today I attacked P90x Legs and Back with vigor!

The other thing is that I am really really focusing on my career and my future lately.  I am focusing on finding training and learning opportunities to make me a better engineer and a better project manager.  I have not been doing as well at that as I should over the last few years…which I have been disappointed in myself with.  I have been focusing on the work – which I should of course – but I also need to focus on how to make myself smarter so I can do the work better.  I’m adding that as a goal this week to my weekly goal writing session – I literally JUST decided that.  That will be my jump start.  I need to stay on top of what is new in the project management industry…that will help me not only at work, but in my LIFE lol.  If that doesn’t get me unstuck I really don’t know what will.  I already am reverse engineering that goal…this makes me excited.

In general though – I do just need to start doing the woosah a bit more.  The last 2 months I have been go go go.  Life changed a LOT in November when the man finished his job assignment in Tennessee and I don’t think I’ve really had the break I need to deal with that.  Deal with it sounds wrong…more like process it.  Yes, that’s it.  I need to process how my life changed while he was gone and how it’s different now that he’s back.  I was so busy soldiering on through the summer/fall while he was gone…I don’t think I have changed gears back into a more relaxed life.  It’s time to start really doing that and start mentally getting out of get through it mode and get into the living life mode.

Operation Size 16: The Beginnings

Morning everyone 🙂

Woke up bright and early this morning to get the stats and pictures done before my workout.  It was cardio day, which is one of the shorter days, so I had a little extra time 🙂

First up the pictures.  So the jeans go on and zip up.  But as you can see- they are not ready for prime time yet.  Too much muffin in the pan for me and I have too much junk in the trunk for these to leave my house…

And here are the stats:
Weight: 236.8
R arm: 15.5
Chest: 40.75
Waist: 33.75
Belly: 45.5
Hips: 52.5
R thigh: 30
This is my starting point this month…I am so excited to see how these numbers change.  That leads into the challenge this week, which is to PUSH.  One of the things that is very different with P90x than I am used to with cardio only challenges or a classic weight lifting program (where you are in a gym in a rep based program instead of a time based lifting situation) is that I have had a harder time figuring out how to push and get results.  I think I am starting to figure that out because I’m pretty sore today from yesterday’s chest and back + ab ripper x workout.  And I need to continue it and really push.  It was easier to figure out the push level for chest and back because it’s push ups and pull ups mostly.  It will be harder for shoulders and arms tomorrow but I am determined to figure it out.  It also means for cardio, sometimes not listening to Tony’s cues (this means you Kenpo X) and going at a speed and pace that gets me that hot sweaty mess look that I want.  If the goal is to move the dial, then the plan has to be intense enough to get the results I need.  So let’s go!  
What is your area to PUSH in this week?  Leave it in the comments 🙂